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Shoot & Share Photography Contest Finalist!!! {And getting over your fears}

Open email. Jaw drops. Eyes light up. Enormous smile ensues.

Contest finalist?! Top 10%?!

When I launched my first website to display my photography portfolio in 2008 I made a very conscious decision to be brave. But let it be known, I was incredibly scared to put myself out there.

I had to give myself a pep talk. I read a quote on the selfishness of never sharing your work. How in order for people to benefit from your gift to the world, you have to share it with them. So I decided right then and there to put myself out there wholeheartedly and unconditionally. I started to share my best work and my work that well, needed work. And while my inner credit, my inner perfectionist still complained to me from time to time, I used it to learn, to grow, to improve; but never to feed any fears of not being good enough.

When this contest opportunity came up from one of my favorite vendors, PASS {the one who provides your beautiful photography galleries}, I had to revisit that pep talk. Yes, eight years later I was nervous - I'll admit it. I don't feel an overarching need to be formally validated. The validation from my clients is abundant and that's my main goal 100% of the time. But there is something to industry recognition. I look at it as a little something extra. So to read this email after my initial hesitation, well that just made me smile to think ... I almost didn't enter.

I encourage you to be vulnerable. What's your contest entry? From my heart I encourage you to go for it.

The above photo in action was taken by Rachel Hunt on location with the beautiful Nina Petruzzo Yoga.